In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, a sex scandal seems more entertainment than moral turpitude. As America stays locked in fascination with the fallout from New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's online stripdown for women other than his wife, an older scandal – that of homophobic, black mega church preacher, Bishop Eddie Long – draws to a disquieting close.
About a year ago, four young men in Bishop Long's Georgia church sued him, accusing him of sexual coercion. Apart from the suggestion of abuse of his pastoral role, the allegations painted Eddie Long as the consummate hypocrite. This was the bishop who had railed against homosexuality as being a "manifestation of the fallen man." In 2004, in the heat of Bush gay-baiting about a constitutional ban on gay marriage, this preacher led a march to the graveside of the Rev. Martin Luther King to support Bush's initiative.
Bishop Long has now settled the lawsuits against him, under terms that preclude any discussion of the truth of the men's allegations; or disclosure of how much, if any monies were paid or if an apology had been delivered. As with many sex scandals, Long's troubles are as intriguing for his apparent moral failings as they are for what it says about his community.
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